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Payback (1999)

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After a successful heist, Porter is shot by his wife and his best friend. They leave him there to die but when he recovers, he seeks revenge and wants his share of the money.



(novel) (as Richard Stark), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
3,145 ( 501)
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Det. Hicks
Pearl (as Lucy Alexis Liu)
Det. Leary
Mark Alfa ...
Johnny's Friend #2
Michael, Bartender #1
Len Bajenski ...
Fairfax Bodyguard #1


Porter is bad, but his neighbours are worse. Street-wise and tough, an ex-marine, he is betrayed by a one-time partner, and shot in the back by his junkie wife. He survives and returns, looking to recover his share from the robbery of an Asian crime gang. The money has passed into the hands of "the Outfit", a slick gangster organisation that runs the city. He has to make his way through a world populated by heroin dealers, prostitutes, sado-masochists, gunmen and crooked cops, a place where torture is a way of life. His only friend is a former employer, a prostitute, and her loyalty is in question, given she now works for the Outfit. He makes good early progress, but then falls into the hands of Fairfax, the crime boss. Written by Kwah-LeBaire

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


No More Mr. Nice Guy See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, language, and drug and sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

5 February 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Porter  »


Box Office


$90,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$21,221,526, 7 February 1999, Wide Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film cast includes two Oscar winners: Mel Gibson and James Coburn; and two Oscar nominees: Kris Kristofferson and David Paymer. See more »


When Porter is hit by Pearl and her group of thugs' car he is shown shooting his revolver, usually a 6 shot, 13 times and possibly more off camera, but he is shown actually pulling the trigger and the hammer dropping 13 times in frame. See more »


[first lines]
Porter: [voiceover] GSW: that's what the hospitals call it: gunshot wound. Doctor has to report it to the police. That makes it hard for guys in my line to get what I call, quality health care.
See more »


Referenced in My Name Is Earl: Two Balls, Two Strikes (2007) See more »


It's a Man's Man's Man's World
Written by James Brown and Betty Newsome
Performed by James Brown
Courtesy of Polydor Records
by Arrangement with Polygram Film & TV Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Wow, This Is A Rough, Tough Movie!
8 November 2006 | by See all my reviews

A modern-day film noir, this is about as tough as it gets. Rough characters, rough violence and rough language all comprise this re-make of the 1967 film "Point Blank," which starred Lee Marvin.

Mel Gibson is the "good guy" here, taking Marvin's role, but I put that in quotes because he's not really "good," just a thief attempting to get his $70,000 back which was stolen from him by his partner and ex-wife in a former heist. He goes up the ladder, little guy to the top boss, to finally get his money.

Gibson gets beaten up several times and even gets tortured in one toes- crunching scene. The women are tough-looking, coarse and unappealing. I did like the metallic-blue hues in here, making this an interesting visual film. However, the city scenes are bleak, a la Batman.

Despite the above, I still found the movie good enough to watch several times. Most people like a simple, revenge story which this really is, and there is dark humor in here, too. The other characters are interesting, particularly the one played by William Devane. I also liked the narration by Gibson, done in 1940s film noir style. The worst person in here was the sadistic "Val Resnick" (Gregg Henry). He was so bad, he was cartoon-ish, someone so bad he belonged in one of those Batman or Hellboy or Spiderman flicks.

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